Past, present and future: Three generations of Editor-in-Chiefs reflect on the importance of a free student press 

Stop the presses. 

While we have never uttered this phrase ourselves, it still rings figuratively loud and clear in student newsrooms around the world. And while no student journalist can claim to be Meryl Streep in “The Post,” some small part of us will always want to. 

As student journalists on this Student Press Freedom Day, we would like to extend our gratitude to a cohort of people. First, we want to thank you – the readers of The Whitworthian – for reminding us why we write. 

The ultimate responsibility of student press is to tell people’s stories – your stories. Student press rests upon the idea that every human contains an inherent undeniable dignity. This idea is what drives those who came before us and those who will come after us.  

Student press needs more than just stories to exist. It also requires an environment of freedom; a commitment to allowing the press to tell those stories. As such, we would also like to extend our gratitude to the people who help provide The Whitworthian with freedom to exist. The freedom that we have as a private university student newspaper is a freedom that many of our colleagues do not share. We commend President Scott McQuilkin and Whitworth University’s administration for their principles of allowing freedom of expression, allowing The Whitworthian to stand as a free student press.

We would also like to thank our advisor, Dr. Erica Salkin, for helping us navigate the challenges of being both students and journalists. And while you may not always notice her as she hops around in the Tardis, the impact she has on us and the paper is felt throughout time and space. 

A free student press is more than ink on paper; it is the vibrant shouts of exultation during football games, the silence of hellos in the wet spring air and the mournful moments of time passing us by. A free student press embodies who we are and what we experience, so that we may remember our joys and learn from our mistakes. When all else fails, a free student press shows us the path forward. 

And so, on this Student Press Freedom Day, we remember what a privilege it is to serve you, our community, and we celebrate the freedom that we have to be a voice for the voiceless. So stop by a newspaper box and pick up the latest edition of The Whitworthian and remember, we are here for you. 

“In America, the president reigns for four years, and journalism governs forever and ever.” – Oscar Wilde 

Emma Maple; Editor-in-Chief 

Grace Uppendahl; Editor-in-Chief of the future 

Kyle Evers; Editor-in-Chief Emeritus 

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